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Monday, March 12th, 2012
I may switch careers and become an OB/GYN. Because I think I just took Fia through labor and delivery. Last week I wrote about our impasse on the poop. She wants to “poop in the potty”–and has a few times–but then gets nervous about it. She went three days talking about poop and holding her hand on her butt without producing anything. We are trying not to pressure her, but it can’t feel good (or be good for you) to hold it in like that. On the third morning, as she continued to say, “No poop-poos” (which means the opposite), I took her for the 105th time to the toilet. This time I got down on my knees and told her to hug me and push really really hard. Which she did. Then, without any plop, she declared for the 106th time, “All done.”
Thing is, I could (and yes, this is going to get gross) smell it. So I turned her around and saw the poop descending out of her butt crack. I threw her back on the toilet and harkened back to being in labor. “Fia, I can see it! It’s coming! You have to keep pushing,” I shouted. (Of course in my labor with Fia, she never came out the hole and we had to C-section). “It’s coming,” she cried back. “Yes, it’s coming!” I reiterated, while looking back again into her butthole. The only word I didn’t use was “crowning” as I feared she’d go to preschool saying she crowned a poop. Then I’d have a lot of explaining to do.
So there we sat, Fia laboring her poop, me coaching her, until finally out came… tada: one little pebble. No f–king way. That’s like birthing the pinky finger and the rest of the baby is still in the canal. So once again, I turned her around and saw a bunch more. Thus, the coaching began in earnest until–out it came. Lots of it. She was so visibly relieved. I felt this bonding moment–like we birthed a baby together. In many ways we did. Just not one you want to keep.
We wiped her up, did the “happy poop dance” and put on a pull-up. She proceeded to poop 4 more times that day–in her diaper. Not that I cared. And for the past couple days it’s been hit or miss. But we’re getting there. I realize the sh-t is exhausting!
Potty Pic via Shutterstock
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Must Read | Tags: birthing, c-section, crowning, delivery, labor, milestone monday, poop, potty training
Friday, February 10th, 2012
Ugh. Emmett has an eye infection. I noticed the gunk forming, but Fia had the same thing. I was told it was immature tear ducts. Luckily I had a pediatrician appointment scheduled for him, or I would have ignored it. I took him in and the doctor said it was definitely an infection because the whites of his eyes were irritated and red. Good to know. I want to spread the word on that.
She took a culture and I go in again on Tuesday for them to take another look. In the meantime, we have an antibiotic ointment we put in his eyes 3 times a day.
I wouldn’t worry except she said eye infections aren’t that common (something you hate to hear. I prefer safety in numbers), and are often an underlying symptom of something else. She thought it might have happened in delivery, but when I explained that I had a C-section, and he didn’t pass down the canal, that pretty much eliminated that reason.
She asked if anyone was sick at home. Nope. Fia does have a runny nose from time to time and she does go in to kiss him, so now I have to be extra diligent on making sure her face is clean. I’m already a nazi with her hands.
I also have been putting breast milk in the eye and the doc concurred that that can help. It’s amazing the antibodies in that stuff.
His weight gain is excellent. He has now surpassed his birth weight of 8 pounds, 2 ounces and is a robust 8 pounds 6 ounces.
He has grown half an inch, to 21.5.
What did freak me out is that his head is only in the 25th percentile. Fia’s head was enormous (thus the C-section), and out of the gate in the 90th percentile. Big brain=big head, right?
She also baked in my belly 2 extra weeks. The doctor said 25th percentile isn’t anything to worry about. All they care about is that it grows on the curve. This is the baseline measurement.
So that’s my update right now. Anyone else out there have experience with an eye infection in a newborn? I am resisting the temptation to google….
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
I love a nurse who can grab my entire breast and shove it into Emmett’s mouth. The way they do it makes it seem so easy. But on my own, it’s been a bit of a challenge. The technique of holding the boob in my hand and using it to guide E-man on, then using the other arm to prop him up gets quite tiring. This has been the routine for the past 11 days of breast-feeding. However, things are finally starting to get easier.
Neither of my babies had any trouble initially latching, despite the natural community’s warnings about the drugs from labor. Following the C-section, both he and Fia immediately latched on. And mind you, I had more drugs in me than a Mexican cartel.
Emmett’s issue was that he kept slipping down onto the nipple, which starts to kill after awhile. A very on-the-ball nurse in the hospital discovered what she thought was contributing to the problem. He had a frenulum. It’s underneath and attached to the tongue and can keep the tongue from getting on the boob properly. His wasn’t bad, but we called in the lactation nurse and after some troubleshooting, she too concurred: His tongue was getting tired and he was slipping down.
The day we left the hospital I begged and pleaded, despite it being a Sunday, for an ENT to come in and snip it. I didn’t want any more time to pass and for him to get fussy on the boob.
The procedure took all of 5 seconds. No anesthesia. Very little crying. The guy comes in, snips it and puts him on me to nurse. I think it was a game changer. Ever since, Emmett has latched on better and hasn’t slipped down nearly as much. My boobs thank him for that.
His Tongue is Free! Hooray!
I had never heard of a frenulum. I’m glad someone discovered it and we sniped it in the bud, so to speak.
And, speaking of snipping…here’s our decision on circumcision.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Newborn Care | Tags: baby, boob, breastfeeding, eating, feeding, frenulum, labor, lactation, newborn, nursing, tongue
Monday, February 6th, 2012
Leaving the hospital with Baby Brother
I hate the sentence I’m about to write. But I’m going to do it anyway.
My two-year old is “mad” at me.
It sounds so lame. I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of those parents who project adult emotions on a toddler. But here I am.
It began the day I came home from the hospital with Emmett. Even though we had prepped Fia all about a baby brother coming into her world, she clearly hadn’t grasped it. How could she? I can barely grasp the magnitude of how one’s body “makes life,” so I surely can’t expect a 2-year old to fully comprehend.
But from the moment I stepped in the door something had changed. While excited about Emmett, she was aloof with me. She didn’t want me to hold her. She did, however, want to hold Emmett. She was clingy with Phil and her grandparents. With me, she ignored.
I thought, What have I done? I have destroyed the relationship that matters most to me in this world. (Another sentence I cringe at while writing. Seriously. But remember there are some raging hormones here too.)
I panicked that things would never be the same. That a “new normal” had set in. One I didn’t like. My mother-in-law, my best friend and my aunt all assured me Fia’s behavior was normal. They cited examples from their own childrearing experiences.
But they must not have had the connection with their kids I have with Fia, I thought hopelessly.We are symbiotically entwined.
Phil took Fia on a walk and asked her, “Are you mad at mama?” In her little voice, she squeaked, “Yes.” Then he asked if she was mad at baby brother. “No” she said.
Upon hearing this, my heart broke a little more. Yes, I’m putting a lot of stock in those two words, “yes/no” but having a new baby is a seismic shift in all our lives–and I do believe she feels a bit jolted and unable to express herself. Again, she’s 2.
Time, is what my mom friends told me. Give her time.
So I have. And it’s getting better. I’m getting my Fi back a little more each day. And my heart too.
I still can’t hold her, which is tough. “Mama hold you,” she pleads. I tell her to come sit on my lap.
I took a bubble bath with her the other night. I washed her hair and she dumped water on me. A welcome sign that normal was coming back.
What does seems to be her new MO of “not-so-fun-normal” is to go from 0-10 in a matter of seconds. She will throw herself on the floor, screaming, crying–real tears and all–because I brought her an apple-banana squeezie and not a yogurt. Such tragedy. Again, since I can’t physically pick her up, I have to wait patiently for her to stop wailing, then explain, distract or relent–depending on the enormity of the issue at hand.
I know this is typical 2-3 year old behavior. Hers just happened to coincide–or was instigated–by Emmett’s arrival.
She has also just spent the last 2 weeks being showered with attention from Phil’s parents. She and his mom were inseparable (his mom is like the grandmother everyone wants to have). So when they left yesterday, she experienced another jolt in her little life.
Again, all normal stuff I’m told. And I have no choice but to go with it. Kids are far more resilient than we are. I have to remember that. And to continue to tell Fia that I have her heart. And I’ll never let go.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Must Read, Newborn Care | Tags: behavior, big sister, birth, Emmett, hospital, labor, milestone monday, new sibling, newborn, sibling, toddler tantrum
Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
Emmett's First Days
I have a son. Wow, that’s fun to say. And here I was worried about changing diapers with a penis underneath. So far I’ve been peed on twice and haven’t minded a bit. Emmett is so cute and cuddly–as I guess most newborns are. So where to begin?
The hospital stay, while not a spa, was nicer than Columbia Presbyterian in NYC. And this time around, I decided to have Emmett sleep in the nursery all 4 nights. With Fia I was terrified of letting her out of my sight, yet at the same time, terrified I’d screw up in doing anything. I think most of us new moms can relate.
I have a major obsession with my sleep. When I don’t get a solid chunk, I start to disintegrate. With Fia, I lost my marbles right out the gate, since it was a 36-hour labor followed by a C-section. With Emmett, I decided to stay ahead of the sleep curve and the pain curve. That meant getting 6-7 solid hours a night in the hospital (well, maybe 5, then 3 more. The nurses would laugh when they’d see me making my rounds at 2:30 a.m. to check on my little dude) and taking pain meds. It has made a huge difference in my mental state. If only my physical one could match it….
I’m finding recovery really hard. Everyone says a scheduled C is so much easier. And to some extent it is. However, I took “easier” to mean that I was basically going in for a flu shot and getting a baby in return. Um, slight miscalculation on my part.
After the surgery, I bled a lot. I was already anemic going in. So that didn’t help matters. I was really really sore too–more so than I expected. Again, thinking it was as simple as a shot.
Taking it easy at home is really hard for my type-A personality. My in-laws are here to help which has been great. But I’m a clean freak and I still feel the need to keep things organized, clutter free and crumb-free (there are constant crumbs on the counter, the floor, etc. That’s what my friend is having me try homeopathy for–to lessen the obsession.) Maybe I’m extra obsessed right now because it’s the only part of my life I can control. So in trying to do that, I’ve also had a few setbacks–the first day and a half I did too much. I ended up feeling dizzy and short of breath. Which put me back in bed. The crumbs and mess around the house were driving me crazy. But in the end, the crumbs can wait–they’ll have to.
Much more to write about. Baby’s first doc visit, the transition with Fia, breastfeeding issues, our decision on circumcision–to name a few. So more to come! Thanks again for all the well wishes.
Here’s a picture from the study in which I write this. He is sleeping in his swing… life is good.
Sweet Dreams My Boy
Categories: Mom Situations, Must Read, Newborn Care | Tags: baby, c-section, cleaning, cleaning issues, delivery, labor, newborn, pregnancy, pregnant, recovery, sleep, sleep deprivation